After reading the NAIL-BITING, GRIPPING and SHOCKING tenth volume to Kentaro Yabuki’s famous “Black Cat” series, I just had to pick up the eleventh vo...moreAfter reading the NAIL-BITING, GRIPPING and SHOCKING tenth volume to Kentaro Yabuki’s famous “Black Cat” series, I just had to pick up the eleventh volume to this series called “Black Cat Volume 11: The Promise” and I was just as blown away by this volume as I was with the previous one!
When Creed accidentally shoots Train with a new nanotech bullet that would have transformed anyone into a monster, it turns out that the effects of the bullet transformed Train into a young child instead. So, in order to get Train back to normal, Sven, Eve and Rinslet would have to find the mysterious doctor, Dr. Tearju who was responsible for creating Creed’s nanotechnology, and convince her to change Train back. Unfortunately, since Kyoko and Charden have left Creed’s Apostles of the Stars and Charden decides to leave Kyoko in Train’s care, Chronos is more determined than ever to take down Kyoko and Charden and it is up to Train to protect Kyoko at all costs!
But, will this cost Train his only chance to get back to normal?
Kentaro Yabuki’s writing continues to amaze me as all of the characters are written extremely well and the character development done with Kyoko was done brilliantly! I have always loved Kyoko’s ditzy and carefree personality as it brings so much humor to an otherwise dark series. But in this volume, we get to see a side of Kyoko that we had never seen before as she is shown being determined in keeping her promise to Train to not hurt anyone out of anger, even though it is obvious that she is having a hard time with keeping this promise. I loved seeing this intense side to Kyoko as it made her into a fully dimensional character who was taught to unleash her anger through her powers, but with Train’s help, she was able to learn how to control her emotions without hurting anyone. It was also interesting in seeing that two of Chronos’ members, Number IV and Number VIII, were so bent on destroying Kyoko and Train, that they had no concerns about harming innocent people as it showed that even though the Chronos organization ruled over half the world and are trying to keep everything in line, they are possibly no better than Creed’s Apostles of the Stars who also want to shape the world into their own vision of a world with no corruption. Kentaro Yabuki’s artwork is fantastic as all of the characters are drawn realistically and also glow off the pages, which brings life to the artwork. I especially loved the way that Kentaro Yabuki drew the characters’ facial expressions as they reflect the characters’ emotions extremely well, especially whenever the characters are being threatened or are being serious in a situation.
For those of you who do not like gory violence, there is some violence in this volume, especially when Train fights against the Chronos numbers IV and VIII. During that battle, there are many scenes where the Chronos numbers slash at Train with their daggers, cutting into his body and drawing lots of blood and that might disturb some readers who do not like seeing blood in books.
Overall, “Black Cat Volume 11: The Promise” is a brilliant volume about redemption that anyone who is a huge “Black Cat” fan will enjoy immensely!
Yes, yes I know. Even though I have been reading the “Black Cat” manga series since 2009, I had not really been keeping up with reviewing the series...more
Yes, yes I know. Even though I have been reading the “Black Cat” manga series since 2009, I had not really been keeping up with reviewing the series at the time. So, this volume will be the first time I had reviewed this series, but hopefully, I will go back and review the previous nine volumes in the future.
Man, I have been enjoying Kentaro Yabuki’s amazing “Black Cat” series ever since I picked up the first volume and to be honest, I had only just read the tenth volume of this series recently since the bookstore I usually got my “Black Cat” manga series from had closed down. So, I was forced to wait several years to figure out a way to read the rest of this series after the ninth volume ended on such a huge cliffhanger and I was desperate in trying to find out what happens next! Now, I finally got that chance with the tenth volume of the “Black Cat” series, “Black Cat: Big Changes!”
After the intense battle between Creed and the Cerberus Team in the last volume, it looked like no one survived the battle until it turns out that Creed is still alive (though he lost his arm) and he is now more than ever determined to make Train join his cause. This results in Creed kidnapping Eve and Sven so that he could get Train to join him by killing both Eve and Sven.
Will Train be able to rescue his friends in time?
Wow! This volume was absolutely amazing! I know that I had gushed over how much I have loved Kentaro Yabuki’s “Black Cat” series before, but this volume was definitely something that was both exciting and shocking at the same time! I loved the way that Kentaro Yabuki wrote each character, especially Train Heartnet himself as Train is shown to be an extremely intense character who also has some comedic traits that I found endearing. I also loved the characters Sven Vollfied and Eve as I loved their relationship with Train, especially Train’s relationship with Sven as it is both hilarious and heartwarming, especially during the scenes where Sven beats up Train whenever he botches a chance for the group to earn money, which causes me to laugh out loud constantly! I also loved the way that Kentaro Yabuki explored the potential threat that Creed poses, as he is trying to kill both Sven and Eve and that showed just how dangerous and insane Creed really is (I mean, if you had read the previous nine volumes, then please tell me that Creed is mentally unstable in his pursuit of Train)! I also loved the fact that Train was willing to risk his own life to save both Eve and Sven since it proved how much Train really cared about Eve and Sven and what he was willing to put on the line in that situation. Kentaro Yabuki did a fantastic job at balancing the humor and the intensity in this volume as it made the story even more interesting to read and I always enjoyed the characters’ witty banter with each other while they are fighting for their lives! Kentaro Yabuki’s artwork is truly gorgeous and creative as all the characters are drawn halfway realistically and I always loved the way that their hairs always glow on each page!
The only problem with this volume is that there is some gory violence in this volume, especially during Creed’s battle with Sven where Creed cuts into Sven’s body with his sword and you can see blood squirting out of the wounds. Anyone who does not like seeing gory violence in a manga series might want to skip over these scenes.
Overall, “Black Cat: Volume Ten: Big Changes” is definitely one volume that you have to check out in the famous “Black Cat” manga series and just as the title suggests, prepare for some huge changes to happen in this series yet to come!
I have read many children’s books that help children deal with solving math problems by presenting the concept in a creative and fun way. But, I will...more
I have read many children’s books that help children deal with solving math problems by presenting the concept in a creative and fun way. But, I will admit that I have not read any math book quite like this one! “One Hundred Hungry Ants” is a children’s book written by Elinor J. Pinczes along with illustrations by Bonnie MacKain that deals with solving division math problems and it is an excellent way to help children solve division problems in a fun and creative way!
The book starts off with one hundred hungry ants heading towards a picnic site, determined to fill their stomachs with the delicious food ahead of them. But, then the smallest ant kept asking the other ninety-nine ants to divide into several groups of one hundred such as dividing into two lines of fifty and four lines of twenty-five, while delaying their time in getting to the picnic site.
Will the one hundred ants make it to the picnic in time?
Read this book to find out!
Wow! Such a simple and innocent picture book and yet one that packs so much humor and clever rhyming schemes that I was totally blown away by this book! Elinor J. Pinczes’ writing is extremely creative and hilarious to read as I was laughing my head off with the small ant’s determination to help make the group of ants move much faster to get to the picnic area. I really loved the many different ways that the ants formed up into groups such as being into two lines of fifty or four lines of twenty-five as it makes it easier for smaller children to understand how to do division and it is also creative enough for children to participate in the fun of the ants’ determination to get to the picnic area. Bonnie MacKain’s artwork is creative and hilarious to look at as the artwork is scratchy and yet all of the ants (and the other animals) look so cute on each page. I especially loved the images of the other animals taking the food away from the picnic while the ants were too busy trying to organize themselves in lines to really notice this and it makes me laugh and feel a little sorry for the ants at the same time!
Overall, “One Hundred Hungry Ants” is a brilliant book that teaches children how to have fun with doing division problems and is hilarious enough to keep many children entertained for years!
So, when I was looking through the illustrations of this book, I was thinking to myself:
“Hey, wait a minute... I seen these illustrations before!”
It was then that I realized that Allie Brosh, the author of the book “Hyperbole and a Half” had actually made a blog called “Hyperbole and a Half” and she had turned the artwork from her blog into a book! How amazing is that? “Hyperbole and a Half” is one book that any fan of crazy and creative artwork definitely has to check out!
This book basically details both the adulthood and childhood events of Allie Brosh through comedic artwork (which includes an image of a blond headed stick figured woman with a pink dress running amuck throughout the book). We get to see Allie go through various situations such as eating a whole cake to get back at her mother as a child, dealing with a psychotic goose that sneaked into her and her boyfriend Duncan’s house and raising two dogs who seem to have mental problems.
That one word pretty much summed up how I felt about this book! When I saw the bizarre child-like artwork on the cover of this book, I knew that I was going to get into something crazy and creative! Allie Brosh had done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this book as the combined result ended up being something truly amazing! Allie Brosh’s writing is witty and full of humor as I was seriously rolling on the ground with laughter at every comedic and embarrassing thing that happened in Allie Brosh’s life! Probably my most favorite part of Allie Brosh’s experiences in this book was the incident where a psychotic goose sneaked into her and Duncan’s house and preceded to terrorize them! Another experience that I really enjoyed in this book was when Allie’s mother took her and her younger sister out into the woods and they ended up getting lost in the woods! I really enjoyed these experiences that Allie Brosh wrote about because they hit so close to home for me as I used to travel into the woods with my sisters and my father when I was younger (although we never got lost) and it was great seeing a similar experience pop up in this book. I also loved the parts where Allie Brosh wrote about her inner insecurities with herself such as exploring about how depression works and finding her own identity. I really enjoyed these parts of the book because even though as a whole, this book is all for humor, the parts where Allie Brosh explores how she feels about herself really brought so much depth to the stories and I often find myself agreeing with the situations that Allie Brosh had went through throughout the book. But probably the best part of this book were Allie Brosh’s illustrations as they are drawn in a childlike manner with stick figures littering the pages and having wide grins on their faces whenever they are about to do something sneaky (something I always see appear on the pink dressed Allie Brosh figure throughout the pages)! I also loved the special effect feel of the artwork such as whenever the characters get extremely energetic, you can see the figures blur out whenever they are running around like crazy!
If there is a problem with this book is that there is some strong language littered throughout this book and anyone who does not like reading strong language in a book might want to skip over the words whenever they are reading this book.
Overall, “Hyperbole and a Half” is definitely one book that you must check out at all costs, especially if you are a huge fan of witty humor, crazy situations and cute stick figured drawings!
Now, I will admit that I had only read a handful of Aliki’s works with “Feelings” being one of my absolute favorite books by Aliki. So, when I found...more
Now, I will admit that I had only read a handful of Aliki’s works with “Feelings” being one of my absolute favorite books by Aliki. So, when I found out that Aliki was making another book that followed up after “Feelings” called “Manners,” I just had to check this book out and believe me, I was totally blown away by the informative nature of this book!
In this book, children are taught about how to show good manners towards other people such as learning how to say “please” and “thank you” and to not be rude towards other people.
Aliki has done it again with creating a book that teaches children about good manners and also about how it is not good to show terrible manners (such as eating sloppily at the dinner table and being insulting towards other people). Probably my most favorite moment in this book was when Aliki showed scenes of various children doing little skits about how to act during a certain situation, such as one skit called “Manners Lessons #4: At the Table” where it showed a girl and a boy performing a skit where the girl was politely eating her food at the table, while the boy was being extremely rude at the table by slurping down his food instead of taking little bites like the girl. These skits can be used to help children who are reading this book on how to behave properly around other people and they could also try to do these same skits to practice showing good manners towards other people. I also loved the fact that Aliki not only shows how to portray good manners towards people, but also shows what bad manners are like, such as in the “How Anthony Almost Ruined Diana’s Party” segment, the title character Anthony almost ruined Diana’s party by insulting everyone at the party by calling them names and being disrespectful to the other children who brought Diana various gifts. Aliki’s artwork is both cute and expressive at the same time as they show various children performing different situations in which they show both good and bad manners. Probably my most favorite artwork in this book was when they showed a girl and a boy in “Manners Lessons #4: At the Table” performing both the polite and rude way to behave at the dinner table, such as showing the boy shoveling food into his mouth and drinking his water in huge gulps, since it was so hilarious to see!
Overall, “Manners” is a fantastic book for children who want to learn about when to show good manners and what is considered bad manners for many people. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book, unless you are worried about smaller children copying the bad manners segments in this book.
There have been so many different versions of the legendary Brothers Grimm tale, “Rumpelstiltskin” that I was surprised to find another version of thi...more
There have been so many different versions of the legendary Brothers Grimm tale, “Rumpelstiltskin” that I was surprised to find another version of this tale, even though I already know the story by now! But, Paul Galdone’s version of the classic Brothers Grimm tale is definitely something worth checking out!
The story begins with a poor miller telling the king of the land that his beautiful daughter can spin straw into gold. The king then decides to take in the miller’s daughter to his castle and ordered her to spin straw into gold for him or else, she will die. The miller’s daughter, who had no clue how to spin straw into gold, started crying when suddenly a small man came in and told the miller’s daughter that he will help her spin straw into gold as long as she gives him something. So, afterwards, once the miller’s daughter gave everything to the little man when the king made her spin even more straw into gold, she ended up promising the little old man her first born child. After the little old man finished spinning the straw into gold, the king decided to marry the miller’s daughter and she ended up giving birth to a baby girl. But suddenly, the little old man popped up and demanded the queen to give her baby to him. But, the queen refused, so the little old man decided to give the queen three days to guess what his name is so that she could keep her child.
I have read many versions of “Rumpelstiltskin” and even though I already know the main gist of the story by this point, Paul Galdone’s version of the classic Brothers Grimm tale continues to renew my interest in this fairy tale! As usual, I have always enjoyed the classic fairy tale story “Rumpelstiltskin” and it was amazing reading another version of the classic Brothers Grimm and still enjoying this story for its intense story line and magical elements. Now, because everyone already knows the story of “Rumpelstiltskin,” I would like to talk more about what I loved about Paul Galdone’s artwork for this story. I loved Paul Galdone’s artwork in this book as the characters look realistic and I also loved the scratchy feel of the artwork as it fits perfectly with the intense nature of this story. I also loved the image of Rumpelstiltskin himself as he is shown to be a short, old looking man who wears medieval clothing such as a blue blouse with yellow and red striped pants and a brown cape and it makes him fit the role of the medieval times extremely well. I also loved the image of the miller’s daughter herself as she is truly beautiful with her long wavy blond hair and blue eyes, although I did have a problem with the miller’s daughter having dark circles under her eyes since it made her look a bit unhealthy from where I stand.
The only problem that I had with this book (and with the story in general) is that it deals with the possibility of a child being taken away from their parents because of a promise they made years ago. This is often an issue that would worry most parents since it would involve their children possibly being taken away from them without warning sometimes and parents might want to tread with caution when reading this book to their children.
Overall, Paul Galdone’s version of “Rumpelstiltskin” is definitely one book to check out if you are a huge fan of the classic fairy tale and if you are a fan of Paul Galdone’s works in general. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the theme of child kidnapping might upset some smaller children.
I have read many books by Demi and I always loved the fact that Demi is always exploring different cultures with her works. So, imagine my surprise a...more I have read many books by Demi and I always loved the fact that Demi is always exploring different cultures with her works. So, imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled upon another one of Demi’s works called “The Artist and the Architect,” which is a tale that takes place in China. Man, did I end up enjoying this mesmerizing tale of deceit and cunning!
In Ancient China, there lived a wise and fair Emperor who had two experienced men, an architect and an artist who would create various buildings and artwork for the Emperor. Unfortunately, the artist was always jealous of the architect and he decided to plot the demise of the architect. The artist then tells the Emperor about how the Emperor’s deceased father wanted an architect to build him a palace in Heaven and in order to do that, they must gather a large pile of wood and set it on fire with the architect standing in the middle of the fire until he rises up to Heaven.
I have always loved reading folktales from different countries, especially China and I was so delighted in finding another folktale from China retold by none other than Demi! I loved the way that Demi retold this tale as it was full of drama and magical elements at the same time! I was amazed at the fact that this is a tale about the artist deceiving the Emperor in order to get rid of the architect, which is a subject that I find so common in many folktales where the main antagonist wishes to get rid of the protagonist through any means possible and that is what made this story so interesting to read! I also loved the Chinese influence of this tale as it made this story even more exotic in tone and I have always enjoyed checking out folktales from different countries! But, probably the best part of this entire book was Demi’s illustrations as they were truly beautiful and creative to look at! I loved the way that Demi drew the palaces in China as they look so beautiful and I also loved the clothing worn by the Emperor and his subjects as they truly look so distinguished!
The only problem I had with this book was that the ending seemed a bit too ambiguous, since I was not able to figure out what became of the artist at the end of the book.
(view spoiler)[The only thing I gathered from the ending of the book was this little proverb that was mentioned:
“The small man harbors an envious spirit; the great man rejoices in the talents of others.”
It is sort of unknown if the architect forgave the artist for his deceit or not, although it looked like they were making up at the end, judging by the image of them shaking hands. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, “The Artist and the Architect” is a fantastic folktale from China that fans of Chinese folklore would enjoy immensely! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the book might be too complex for some smaller children.
Now, I am a huge fan of practically everything that Mo Willems has written since his books are so full of witty humor and creative ideas! So, imagine...more
Now, I am a huge fan of practically everything that Mo Willems has written since his books are so full of witty humor and creative ideas! So, imagine my surprise when I found out that Mo Willems has written a children’s book that teaches children manners which is called “Time to Say “Please”!
Basically, this book starts off with a young girl trying to get a cookie, but some cute little mice start holding up signs that tell the little girl about how saying “please” to an adult can really help you get the things you truly want!
Mo Willems has done a brilliant job at writing this book as it truly shows how manners can do wonders for any child while also being entertaining for children! I loved the way that Mo Willems expressed good manners in this book because it is great that there are picture books out there that discuss having good manners and I think that this book did a fantastic job at expressing how to say “please” and “thank you” towards other people. I also loved the fact that there are little blue mice all over the pages that keep holding up signs that help narrate the story, which I thought was pretty cute! Mo Willems’ artwork is extremely cute and creative, with the best part being of the little blue mice that hold up signs that narrate the actions of the characters, as they were extremely cute to look at and I also loved their hilarious actions such as flying airplanes and hugging each other while they are moving the signs. I also loved the way that the backgrounds are in white while the characters are colored in (even though I usually prefer colorful backgrounds to go with the characters). It really felt like the characters are truly standing out, especially the images of the children and their parents doing various activities that require them to say “please” and “thank you.”
Overall, “Time to Say Please!” is a fantastic children’s book that helps teach children good manners and for anyone who is a huge fan of Mo Willems’ work, this is definitely one book to pick up! I would highly recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.
After reading the breakthrough children’s book hit Walter the Farting Dog, I wanted to check out more children’s books about dogs who have problems th...more
After reading the breakthrough children’s book hit Walter the Farting Dog, I wanted to check out more children’s books about dogs who have problems that cause them to smell and I stumbled upon this little unique book called “Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis” by Dav Pilkey!
Hally Tosis was a cute little dog who lived with the Tosis family and was extremely friendly towards everyone. But, she had one little problem…
SHE HAS REALLY BAD BREATH!
Everywhere that Hally Tosis goes; her bad breath would knock everyone off their feet including the Tosis family’s Grandmother Tosis! So when Hally Tosis’ bad breath becomes too unbearable for the family, the Tosis family decided to give away Hally, even though the children were upset about this. So in a last attempt to save Hally, the Tosis children tried to help Hally get rid of her horrible breath through various methods including taking her to a movie that would literally take her breath away. But, all of these methods ended up failing and the children were forced to say good-bye to Hally. But one night, two robbers ended up breaking into the Tosis family’s house and…
Can Hally Tosis save the day?
Read this book to find out!
I have read many books by Dav Pilkey, including his famous “Captain Underpants” series, but “Dog Breath” was probably one of the most unique books I had ever read by him! Dav Pilkey’s writing was cute and hilarious as it details Hally’s unfortunate problem with her bad breath and how it affects those around her. I loved the way that Dav Pilkey made Hally into such a friendly dog who is unaware of how bad her breath is and she is always shown to be cheerful and blissful, despite the fact that her bad breath causes people to either run away from her or be knocked out unconscious. I also loved the fact that the Tosis family really does care about Hally, despite them being put off by Hally’s bad breath and it really shows during the scene where the Tosis family is forced to find a new home for Hally and they are crying when they are putting up the “free dog” sign. Dav Pilkey’s artwork is cute and colorful to look at, especially the image of Hally herself as she is shown to be an extremely cute dog who has a big smile on her face despite her bad breath giving everyone grief. I also loved the way that Dav Pilkey shows Hally’s bad breath as it is shown as a green smoke coming out of her mouth and the images of various people being knocked out by her bad breath is hilarious to see!
The reason why I gave this book a four star rating was because compared to “Walter the Farting Dog,” I felt that some parts of this book were a bit bland in the storytelling. I actually wished that there were more dimensions to the Tosis family as they barely have any dialogue (save for the scene where the parents decided to do something about Hally) and I wanted to see the Tosis family deal with Hally’s bad breath in a more intriguing way. Also, it might be because I already read a book that was similar to this premise and had a more interesting way of dealing with a dog’s smelly problem (Walter the Farting Dog).
Overall, “Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis” is a really cute book about how a family tries to accept their dog’s unconventional problem and how that problem could be used more resourcefully than they thought. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book (unless the idea about a dog having smelly breath seems gross to some)!
Now, to be honest, my first exposure to Steven Guarnaccia’s artwork was through Rabbit Ears Productions’ version of Anansi, which was narrated by none...more
Now, to be honest, my first exposure to Steven Guarnaccia’s artwork was through Rabbit Ears Productions’ version of Anansi, which was narrated by none other than DENZEL WASHINGTON! So, when I found out that Steven Guarnaccia had written and illustrated a more modern version of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” I just had to give this book a shot!
Basically, this book is a retelling of the popular fairy tale story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” where the story starts off with the three bears going out for a walk in order for their bowls of chili to cool off. Later on, a little girl named Goldilocks stumbles upon their house and starts ruining the three bears’ furniture and food when she tried to get herself comfortable in the house. This is a more modern day take on the classic story as the artwork is inspired by the modernism movement in its art style.
Steven Guarnaccia’s artwork was probably the best part of this story, as they brilliantly complement the contemporary style for the popular fairy tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” I loved the way that in the inside covers; we actually see what the names of the furniture being shown in this book are, such as a sofa called the “Alessandro Becchi,” which is a 1971 Italian “Anfibio” sofa and a chair called the 1955 “Series 7.” The names of the furniture actually gives the book an extremely authentic and creative flair as each furniture have unique names that really made them stand out in the entire book. Steven Guarnaccia had also done a brilliant job at detailing the characters in this book, especially of the three bears themselves. I loved the way that each of the three bears have their own unique styles regarding their clothing; such as the Papa Bear wearing a purple and golden checkerboard shirt and a pair of shades; the Mama Bear wearing a pink bandana on her head along with beige colored pants and a shirt that seems like something that came out of an abstract art; and the Baby Bear wearing a raccoon hat along with a blue and white striped T-shirt. I also loved the illustrations of Goldilocks herself as she is seen with her hair pulled into a ponytail and she wears a shirt that is green with black stars and red pants that comes along with the black shoes.
The reason why I gave this book a four star rating was because I felt that this book could have been much more creative with the concept of having a more modernized version of the classic fairy tale. I was actually wishing that the three bears were in a jazz band or something like that because it would have fit nicely with the modernized artwork of the classic story, especially with the Papa Bear looking like he would enjoy playing a saxophone in a jazz band. I also would have liked it more if this book actually provided a back story of sorts for Goldilocks since that would have fleshed out her character further besides just being a little girl who just happens to stumble upon a house full of bears. I would have liked it if this version of Goldilocks was known to be a bad child (just like in both the Rabbit Ears version and James Marshall’s version of the classic tale) and had to learn her lesson about breaking into other people’s homes without permission the hard way.
Overall, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is a truly creative book that takes a more modern day spin on the famous classic fairy tale and children who love modernized takes on classic fairy tales will definitely enjoy this book! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the modernized style of the artwork might be too complex for some children